Yesterday I received the best email I’ve ever received as a business owner. Better than a new client. Better than a compliment. The email from my support team said: On your to do list – nada!
Seriously? Nothing on my to-do list from my team?
As business owners, we know the crushing need we seemingly always feel to finish the work we are responsible for producing, along with anything our team is requesting.
For the longest time, my team and I have been working to un-bottleneck the process, which meant finding a way for things to flow more quickly through me or around me, while preserving quality control. And, trust me, we tried quite a few things that didn’t work. Either we added more people (i.e. capacity) to the process, which didn’t really free me up, or we moved things around me and quality suffered.
I think the biggest lesson that allowed us to get to the “on your to-do list: nada” point was being committed to the process despite the missteps we took. Here are some you might be familiar with:
- We added people who didn’t have our commitment level. We realized not everyone is a great fit for the quick turnaround we need. We learned to be VERY specific when hiring about our turnaround needs and expectations.
- We put people in roles they were not great at. We assigned certain steps of the process to people who were not good at those steps. After training, and retraining, they still were not acceptable. So we moved them back to focusing on the role they WERE great at and hired someone else for what they weren’t.
- Then that person wasn’t great either. So we let them go.
- We added roles we didn’t need. We learned to tweak our process like a Rubik’s Cube to make it effective. For example, we needed capacity to draft more trusts faster. So hire more paralegals to draft, right? We tried that and couldn’t find a good fit ? so nope, we hired more paralegals to proof plans, and that allows our drafting team to draft more, and faster, since they aren’t also proofing.
In other words, sometimes what works can change, depending on the people available to join your team or where your bottleneck is. Staying committed to the process of moving things along effectively with high quality allowed us to be flexible and take different routes to get to the same result. Otherwise, we would have called it quits and decided it “can’t be done” long ago.
If you are frustrated at a process not working efficiently on your team and not sure who to hire to make it function properly, start by identifying the result you are looking for. Then take each step of the process and see how it might be turned, or how the person responsible could be adjusted, and see how it works. This approach is not for the weak of heart. It requires letting go of control, so that you can really obtain control. Because working your butt off while stuff is falling by the wayside isn’t control; you have to stand in the storm of possibly making a mistake while you measure quality control, and you have to deal with people, possibility letting them go, hiring them and being very clear on what is working and not working. But the end result is worth it. Not just for the “nada” on your to-do list, but to know your clients are being well-served, your team is less stressed because things are flowing, and you can focus on your to-do list without wrecking your team’s needs.
If you aren’t sure where to start or what role to hire for, click here to schedule a complimentary discovery call with us!